Operatic double bill by Marc-Antoine Charpentier in Victoria




La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers
La Couronne de Fleurs

by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Boston Early Music Festival
Friday, March 14, 2014, 8 pm
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 8 pm
McPherson Playhouse

A stunning operatic double bill by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Presented by
Pacific Opera Victoria and the Early Music Society of the Islands

Boston Early Music Festival - Charpentier Opera

Scene from BEMF's original production in November, 2011. Photo: André Costantini

Two jewels of the early Baroque, these operas are a brilliant fusion of music, drama, and dance, staged by one of the world’s leading baroque ensembles. Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, reigning authorities on early music, lead the internationally acclaimed singers, instrumentalists, and dancers of the Boston Early Music Festival.

Playful, elegant, and haunting, this performance is a perfect melding of consummate musicianship and exhilarating theatricality.

A must-see for those who love the art of the Baroque!

La Couronne de Fleurs, based on a text by Molière, depicts a musical contest in tribute to Louis XIV as shepherds vie for a crown of flowers from the goddess Flora for the most beautiful and eloquent aria. The short opera La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers is presented as a further entry in the poetic contest, telling the famous story of Orphée, who decends into the underworld to use his musical powers to rescue his beloved Euridice. These miniature masterpieces showcase one of the great composers of the French Baroque.

When Eurydice dies … it was quite simply grief in motion and music, extraordinarily moving. It happened again, in a chilling way, when Orphée, told he cannot look back at his love, walks with her behind him very slowly … That doomed walk of theirs is what I will remember
Susan Miron, The Arts Fuse

One fully felt the power of music … the fragility of its status and the scariness of its possible disappearance.
Charles Warren, The Berkshire Review

The orchestra, led by BEMF musical directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, was nearly flawless in their performance, both technically and artistically. The singers offered strong performances as soloists, as well as stellar ensemble performances. In keeping with Baroque theatrical tradition, the musical ensemble was also joined by dancers, all of whom executed their part in expert fashion. Both works featured outstanding performances by the leads.
Joel Schwindt, Boston Musical Intelligencer

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series

  1. Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
  2. Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
  3. Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
  4. Melinda Sullivan, Choreographer

Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble

  1. Aaron Sheehan, Orphée
  2. Mireille Asselin, Flore and Proserpine
  3. Jesse Blumberg, Apollon and Pan
  4. Tyler Duncan, Silvandre and Pluton
  5. Danielle Reutter-Harrah, Hyacinte
  6. Jason McStoots, Forestan and Ixion
  7. Carrie Henneman Shaw, Rosélie and Euridice
  8. Teresa Wakim, Amarante and Enone
  9. Brenna Wells, Daphné
  10. Zachary Wilder, Mirtil and Tantale

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble

  1. Cynthia Roberts, concertmaster
  2. Tekla Cunningham, violin
  3. Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba
  4. Christel Thielmann, viola da gamba
  5. Beiliang Zhu, viola da gamba
  6. Geoffrey Burgess, oboe & recorder
  7. Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder
  8. Avi Stein, harpsichord
  9. Paul O’Dette, Baroque guitar and theorbo
  10. Stephen Stubbs, Baroque guitar and theorbo

Boston Early Music Festival Dance Ensemble

  1. Olsi Gjeci
  2. Caitlin Klinger
  3. Alexis Silver
  4. Andrew Trego
  5. Ryan Began, Actor

Pacific Opera Victoria | 1815 Blanshard Street, Suite 500 | Victoria, BC V8T 5A4

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